Budget ’09

10th December, 2009

budget 09

This is the main theme of today in the Seanad. Think that the media reaction has been reasonably muted. But this is only because so much of the budget was leaked. Much has been said about it failing the fairness test so I’m trying to concentrate on a few specific themes today.

Firstly, why does the budget not include any provisions for new money for the banks next year? We all know that the NAMA ‘haircut’ valuations are now looking too optimistic. This will undermine the capital value of the banks even more. They’ll go to the markets and to the tax payer looking for new money. I asked the Leader to guarantee that we wouldn’t need a Bankers budget next year. It goes without saying that this commitment wasn’t given!!!

Secondly, what about jobs? The centre piece of yesterday was a cut in the excise rates on drink. Is that what the government are talking about when they bleat on about ‘The Smart Economy’.

Thirdly, the most important test of all is the need for this budget to maintain our economic independence. We need to maintain the right to set our own incomes first, let alone influence the rates at which they are set. For the sake of us all I hope that those who fund our borrowings judge that this test was met.

Finally, I think the public reaction to this budget will be very different to that of the establishment. Fianna Fail have already destroyed their reputation (in the eyes of the public) of economic competence. Yesterday they did the same for their reputation of a ‘caring’ party.